CHARLOTTE COUNTY, FL- For the first time in the Charlotte County Sheriff's 92 year history a deputy is shot and killed in the line of duty.42-year-old Michael Wilson killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call. The shooter reportedly taking his own life.
It happened Monday night at the Lakes of Tuscana apartment complex in Port Charlotte just after eight.
The call came in as domestic physical disturbance. "Allegedly the husband was striking the mother and son." Sheriff Bill Prummell says within 15 minutes 42-year old Sgt. Michael Wilson was on scene. As soon as he began to walk up to the apartment he was shot one time. "The way that Sgt. Wilson was is that he was at the bottom of the staircase. The suspect was at the top of the staircase. He was firing downwards. It got just above where the vest was."
The Sheriff's Office says the fatal blow came at the hands of 49-year old Jay Vanko. "We were told he did own several firearms. We are also hearing he was a marksman and competed in shooting competitions."
The Sheriff's office says Vanko took his own life. Discovered after a Sarasota County Swat team robot gave them a view. Records show authorities had been to the apartment twice before for non violent domestic issues. Neighbors like Jo DiGianni say they didn't know much about that. "He was real friendly. He would say hi how ya doing?"
Tuesday the flag is drawn down. Officers wearing black ribbons over their shields. Wilson was a 21-year veteran of the force. "He started his career close to the same time I did. I have known Mike for a long time. He was a good officer. He is going to be missed," says Prummell.
Hitting home for this community says neighbor Kevin Bostic "We are not used to a bunch of commotion. It's really tragic. He was actually my school resource officer when I was in high school."
While the agency tries to put together how and why they're also making sure their officers are okay and the family of one of their own is taken care of. "At this time our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. His wife Joanne and his three children." Sgt. Wilson leaves behind three teenagers still in school. The Sheriff saying notifying the family was the most difficult thing he has ever had to do in his career.